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Quotes largely unchanged despite factories’ best efforts

Steers stay on a base of €4.80-4.85/kg with heifers on €4.85-4.90/kg

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Big money: This Charolais cross cull cow, weighing 845kg, sold for €2,070 at Mohill in July. Photo: Gerry Faughnan

Big money: This Charolais cross cull cow, weighing 845kg, sold for €2,070 at Mohill in July. Photo: Gerry Faughnan

Latest factory prices

Latest factory prices

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Big money: This Charolais cross cull cow, weighing 845kg, sold for €2,070 at Mohill in July. Photo: Gerry Faughnan

Despite repeated efforts by factories over the last two weeks to pull prices, quotes remain unchanged.

Bullocks stay on a base of €4.80-4.85/kg with heifers on €4.85-4.90/kg.

Some of those with Friesian bullocks have managed to get a base of €4.80/kg, with a bottom of €4.60/kg.

Others are reported to have accepted flat prices of €4.70/kg for loads of Ps combined with poorer O grades.

Of course, it is easier for a factory to give a higher base price if the cattle they are buying are unlikely to grade into that price. But offering a base of €4.80/kg for Friesians tells me they were wanted and were not going to be left there for some other outfit.

So those with Angus should expect to achieve base prices of €4.90-5.00/kg.

If any factory agents might contest this, look at the returns on the Department’s Beef Price Watch website for the week ending August 7, when the best average overall price for R4 steers regardless of breed was the €5.19/kg paid by Slaney Foods.

The top prices paid by processors that week shows R4 bullocks with fat scores of 4- to 4+ as making €5.36-5.70/kg.  

Quotes for cull cows and bulls last week also remained unchanged, with O grade Friesian cull cows averaging €4.40-4.50/kg and coloured culls on €4.50-4.60/kg.

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Latest factory prices

Latest factory prices

Latest factory prices

P grades are back around €4.30/kg, if well fleshed, and making up a load with better stock €4.40/kg or better should still be achievable.

The numbers of young bulls going through the system remain small with just 1,639 processed the week ending August 7 out of a total kill of 32,008.

With the need for manufacturing beef for burgers etc boosted by the resumption of the soccer season in the UK, their factory prices remain firm.

Under-16-month bulls are working off bases of €4.80-4.85/kg, while Under-24-month U grades are averaging €5.00/kg, with Rs €4.80-4.90/kg.

With much of the country having got some rain over the weekend — and more forecast, especially in the south and east where it is most needed — both factory bosses and farmers will be wondering how best to play the game.

Will those with beef to sell sit tight and see how the numbers play out now that grass supplies may have a chance to recover?

Bitter experience and unfulfilled factory promises have taught many that if your cattle are fit, you’re better to move them rather than wait for supplies to possibly tighten.

How many times this year has the rumour mill predicted a fall-off in supplies? More than I care to remember and it hasn’t happened yet.

This is one time I’d love to be wrong though.

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